Tone Report Weekly 194 - Page 36

D’Angelico EXL-1 D’Angelico is another name from the pre- war “big band” era, but this company’s archtop guitars weren’t mass-produced in a factory. Master luthier John D’Angelico was perhaps the greatest archtop guitar builder of all time, making less than 1200 instruments in his lifetime, all built by hand in his shop in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Needless to say, these were very special and very expensive guitars 36 TONE TALK // not intended for the average strummer. Today however, D’Angelico Guitars is a large-scale modern manufacturer, turning out gorgeously built and relatively affordable recreations of the master’s designs, including the Excel Series EXL- 1. This luxurious axe features a deliciously resonant 17-inch wide, three-inch deep spruce and flame maple body, a two- piece maple-and-walnut neck, rosewood fretboard, breathtaking art deco hardware flourishes, and absolutely flawless workmanship. A floating mini-hum in the neck position completes the vintage look and electrified tone. The EXL-1 sells new for an extraordinarily reasonable 1399. 6 Archtops for the Working Class Jazzer